I Shall Bear Witness

klemperer

(by Victor Klemperer) Despite some confusing Anne Frank with a Nazi (see: Rijksmuseum moments), her diary is mandatory reading and so should be this diary of German Jewish academic, Victor Klemperer. He lived in Germany throughout the Nazi reign and this volume, covering 1933 to 1941, reveals the incremental march to holocaust. Each little step led to the next and so on, quickening in pace: May ’33: Klemperer can still lecture in Romance languages and literature at Dresden but he complies with a ‘request’ to no longer conduct exams; by May ’35, he is dismissed from his post; by October…

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The Information

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS, WRITING & LITERATURE |
the informaiton

(by Martin Amis) A glittering specimen of that great archetype, the literary revenger’s tale.  Richard Tull toils in vain on his indifferent and overlooked novels – friend Gwyn Barry, at the same time, produces fraudulent, flatulent pulp and is venerated and enriched. Tull decides to ignore the sage words of Richard Nixon when he resigned in disgrace and despair: “others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.” Amis scores a direct hit here:  As his fraud’s best-seller sequel, Amelior Regained, is ‘barbarically plain’, this literary revenger’s tale is…

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I Like You

Image courtesy of the second funniest, creepiest hospitality book of all time - The Weber Cookbook.

Image courtesy of the second funniest, creepiest hospitality book of all time - The Weber Cookbook.

(by Amy Sedaris) Indubitably the creepiest, funniest book on hospitality ever written.    

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I Know Where I’m Going!

November 5, 2014 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classic Film, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |
iknowwherei'mgoing

(dir. Powell & Pressburger) (1945) A fey Scottish romance even the chaps will enjoy. Joan Webster needs to get on the boat to the island of Kiloran, in the Scottish Hebrides, in order to marry her much older former employer, Sir Robert Bellinger..  Bad weather foils her, but during the wait, she befriends a young naval officer home from leave.  He wants to get to Kiloran as well… Rich performances abound, with Wendy Hiller and Roger Livesey entirely perfect as the two stranded travellers. Hiller, in particular, totally convinces, as a haughty lass who dissolves in the face of the unstoppable force of…

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A House for Mr Biswas

zinc

(by V. S. Naipaul)                   With Transparent Things, the best nihilist comedy ever: a long, lovely, sad, frustrating look at defiant failure Mohun Biswas.  Full of ‘amazing scenes’ and family strife in Trinidad.  When Biswas daubs brightly coloured spots of zinc cream on his face and goes out onto the footpath to watch the world go by, it is hard not to laugh till you cry. The notoriously scratchy Mr Naipaul has produced an impressive oeuvre down the years, but this is certainly his best book.  He has written that it is…

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